Easter – From Bondage to Blessing!
As Christians, we celebrate Christmas to remember when Almighty God, Creator of everything, reached out from Heaven by sending His only son to be born in human flesh and live among mankind to demonstrate God’s love and show us how to live a life that is pleasing to God. The Christmas story makes us think of peace, joy and hope of better things to come.
The Easter story, however, is marked by betrayal, brutality and injustice! It is a horror story of a good, innocent man wrongfully murdered – God’s son seemingly defeated and destroyed. Yet the ultimate miracle actually came to pass as it had been prophesied – and Jesus was gloriously resurrected from the dead! It changed everything forever, because it PROVED that there is eternal life after death! Of course that is something to celebrate!
But if I am honest, I have to admit that for many years, even after becoming a committed Christian, I had a hard time understanding why God chose for it to happen that way. Jesus “paid the price” for our sins; he “became the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be saved”…. we know and repeat the familiar phrases, but I still didn’t really understand. Over the years I have gradually come to a better understanding, but today as I listened to our pastor’s message, another piece of the puzzle clicked into place. He was teaching from the book of Mark:
Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (NLT)
Pastor Todd Crofford explained that the word “ransom” used here, was the term used by the Greeks to refer to the amount of money required to “buy” a slave’s freedom. Of course, owning NOTHING, a slave could never do or obtain enough to “buy” it himself. It was completely unattainable, impossible. It would require someone else to pay the “ransom” for him.
In our lost human state here on earth, we are just like that slave. There is NOTHING we can do or obtain to set ourselves free from that bondage to sin. Almighty God chose what that ransom would be – something no-one else could provide; something only God’s own son, Jesus, could do. And because of his great love for us, Jesus willingly suffered the betrayal, brutality, injustice and even death that were required for us to be set free!
Perhaps the best news of all is that we don’t have to wait until Easter comes around in order to benefit from that ransom being paid! The moment we choose to believe and accept what Jesus has done for us, and in thankful appreciation offer up our own life in return to serve him, the “transaction” is completed and we are set free! May this Easter bring special blessing to each of us!